The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at] I'd love to check out what you got.



Hi everyone, it's been a while since I checked the page, and I wanted to make a few announcements.

First and foremost, it appears a dubious site has claimed the old url, meaning any link in any review that goes to the old mattmovieguy url is corrupt. I'm in the process of trying to remove them all, but it's a lot! It's best not to click on any link without hovering over it first to make sure it doesn't have mattmovieguy in the url.

Second, it appears since my last trip to the blog, Photobucket has decided to charge for third party hosting, meaning none of my images are appearing anymore. That's simply an aesthetic issue, but still annoying.

Thank you all for your patience, and again, hopefully this will all be fixed soon.


Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Virtual Assassin or Cyberjack (1995)

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I first came across this little diamond in the rough when it aired on Joe Bob Briggs's old show on TNT. I think it was called Cyberjack when I saw it, but it was called Virtual Assassin when I bought it. This is one of the subtle nuances of being a DTV connoisseur that I enjoy: multiple names for the same movie. In the case of this film, I would've preferred Brion James Plays an Albino Psycho Who has Green Eyes at the End Before Dudikoff Kills Him, but I'm not sure it would've focus grouped well.

As I mentioned above, this film has DTVC Hall of Famer Michael Dudikoff and late screen legend Brion James. Dudikoff plays a cop-turned-cleaning man who just happens to be cleaning a major laboratory of a huge company that James and his band of ne'er-do-wells hijacks. Cue the Die Hard paradigm, throw in a computer virus that's more like a biological virus, and you got yourself a movie. Actually, you've only got yourself a movie because Brion James and Michael Dudikoff are in it.

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But boy do they make it a movie. This is vintage Dudikoff, from the looks on his face, to his voice, to the all out action. As far as the late Brion James, this is probably his best stuff since Armed and Dangerous or that guest role he had as an evil immortal on Highlander: The Series. If you liked him in Blade Runner, you'll like him in this.

The people who made this film thought a computer virus worked like one that makes people sick. For me, this is simply fantastic. James' character injects himself with the virus, and then somehow gains control over the world's computers. That would normally be pretty lame, except he has these great, green glowing eyes while he does it. It's a beautiful thing.

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You could say the drawback is the simplistic Die Hard rip-off plot, but with Dudikoff as the hero making his way through the complex, I feel like it works. Who else would you want in a bad Die Hard rip-off? Okay, you're right, Dolph Lundgren. Can you imagine Dolph vs. Brion? A guy can dream, right? Maybe George Lucas can use some of his magic for good to put Dolph and Brion in the same pic.

I'm getting off topic here. Bottom line: if you see this film for $5 or under, get it. If you're unfamiliar with Dudikoff's work (which I can't imagine how anyone is with the American Ninja films), this isn't a bad starting point. Just remember that Dudikoff isn't any throwaway beefy action star: he's a DTVC Hall of Famer for a reason. Oh yeah, did I mention Brion James is in this as an albino psycho who has glowing green eyes?

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